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NEET UG Controversy: Retest for 1,563 Candidates Considered

A committee formed by the National Testing Agency (NTA) is considering a retest for all 1,563 candidates who were awarded “grace marks” for “loss of time” in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate) this year. The committee, headed by a former UPSC chairman, is also contemplating offering these candidates the option to accept their “non-normalised score,” […]

A committee formed by the National Testing Agency (NTA) is considering a retest for all 1,563 candidates who were awarded “grace marks” for “loss of time” in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate) this year. The committee, headed by a former UPSC chairman, is also contemplating offering these candidates the option to accept their “non-normalised score,” which reflects their actual achievement before the addition of grace marks.

The committee, whose exact composition has not been disclosed, is expected to submit its recommendation to the NTA in the next two days. The decision comes after an uproar over the unusually large number of candidates scoring well in the entrance test this year, with 67 candidates securing the perfect score of 720/720.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court, hearing a petition seeking cancellation of the exams amid allegations of a paper leak, expressed concerns about the exam’s “sanctity” and sought answers from the NTA and the Centre. The court declined to stay the counselling and tagged the petition with another to be heard on July 8.

The NEET-UG results, announced on June 4, drew attention when 67 candidates scored the perfect 720/720, and others scored 718 or 719—marks some claimed were not possible in the exam’s scheme. The NTA attributed this to factors such as an easier paper, additional marks awarded to students who lost time due to errors, delays, and an incorrect question.

Of the 1,563 candidates affected, two options are being considered: accepting their pre-normalisation score or sitting for a retest. “Although this is not the final decision, many members are leaning towards the option of asking these candidates to either accept their raw score (pre-normalisation) score or sit for a retest. Majority of the 1,500 candidates scored less than 300 out of 720 marks even after normalisation. It was felt they may not come forward for the retest even if offered as an option. For the remaining numbers it will not be too difficult to conduct the exam again,” said a source who did not wish to be identified.

The Directorate General of Health Services has not yet announced the counselling schedule. If a retest is conducted, the NTA will need to ensure that the results are announced before the counselling process begins.

Approximately 24 lakh candidates took the NEET-UG exam held on May 5 in 571 cities, including 14 outside India. There are a total of 1,08,940 MBBS seats in more than 700 medical colleges across the country.

In a fresh writ petition filed in the Supreme Court, a batch of students raised doubts about the examination’s sanctity in light of the paper leak allegations and urged the court to cancel it and direct the NTA to hold it again.

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National Testing AgencyNEET UG ControversyNEET UG.NTATDGThe Daily Guardian